Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Yes, their name is weird. We get it. No they’re not affiliated with NASCAR nor are they related in any way to Dale Earnhardt. It’s just the name of their band. We clear?
As much as I’d love to sit and talk about their name, the most talk-worthy thing about these dudes from Detroit is undoubtedly the fresh music they produce and how they need to be on your radar for badass up -and-coming bands.
So what does a band with an outlandishly bizarre name sound like? Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott are like a modern day Simon & Garfunkel except less whiney and a hell of a lot cooler. Their layered sound is built off a funky bass line, easy drum beat, unpredictable keyboard effects and distortion finished with bubblegum pop harmonies against the occasional seeping through fierce vocals and carefree whistles. It’s a clusterfuck of awesome and their first album, It’s a Corporate World will satisfy your once insatiable craving for the perfect summer album.
Whether the boys are rocking it on the stripped-down side with a piano and straight up harmonies, you’ll be impressed. Their sound is playfully imaginative and transcends well between full band and acoustic. So I guess it’s no surprise they covered The Beach Boy’s “God Only Knows.” Fan of highlighted harmonies and simple pleasures? Check out the acoustic versions of “Skeletons,” “Simple Girl” and “Nothing But Our Love.”
“Nothing But Our Love” gets right to the point of being an original, sentimental song that maintains its innocence without being yet another introverted song of sappy hipster love. (Because quite frankly, there’s enough of that bullshit circulating.) The band’s charm is in their ability to precisely capture the perfect dosage of sweetness and realness. Nothing is melodramatic and it’s all relatable. The band effortlessly generates a sound that’s fresh and curious like a new, budding relationship. It’s brilliant.
Then there are songs that have a much harder, more intense energy. “We Almost Lost Detroit” gets my vote for the most rocking song on the album. The studio version is phenomenal, but in the same breath, you truly can’t go wrong with any of the live festival performances. “Morning Thought” has the same powerful head-nodding, hands-in-the-air kind of vibe. These are some of the bigger songs on the album that leave lots of room for exploration as far as adding a jam and crazy effects when it comes to live performances. And yes, that is the song that was featured on a Taco Bell commercial-Yet another reason to enjoy this band. They support tasty late-night treats.
Check out their album, It’s a Corporate World and you’ll be absolutely tantalized that a band with this much potential hasn’t exactly made it into the mainstream realm of music yet. Hurry up and you can jump on the bandwagon before everybody else does. Seriously, they’re fun.